Federal Aid and Equality of Educational Opportunity: Evidence from the Introduction of Title I in the South
Title I of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act substantially increased federal aid for education, with the goal of expanding educational opportunity. Combining the timing of the program’s introduction with variation in its intensity, we find that Title I increased school spending by 46 cents on the dollar in the average school district in the South and increased spending nearly dollar-for-dollar in Southern districts with little scope for local offset. Based on this differential fiscal response, we find that increases in school budgets from Title I decreased high school dropout rates for whites, but not blacks.
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